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Persistent connections and error conditions

From: Jeffrey Mogul <mogul@pa.dec.com>
Date: Fri, 22 Sep 95 13:18:16 MDT
Message-Id: <9509222018.AA20129@acetes.pa.dec.com>
To: Dave Kristol <dmk@allegra.att.com>
Cc: mogul@pa.dec.com, http-wg%cuckoo.hpl.hp.com@hplb.hpl.hp.com, mogul@pa.dec.com
    Jeff mentions something I've wondered about w.r.t. keepalive (or
    "persistent"):  what should the server do on error?  Using his example,
    if a server doesn't understand/support GETSHAPE, it returns an error.
    Should it also close the connection?  If not, how can the server be
    sure it knows the correct position in the (single) input stream at
    which to continue?

My view is that the server is always allowed to close a connection
when a request is not actually "in progress."  (For obvious reasons,
the server should not close a connection before receiving the first
request!)

This means that if the server declares a request to be erroneous,
it is always allowed to close the connection (after sending its
error response), since it is done handling the request.  Of course,
if the server is able to unambiguously parse the input stream, then
it need not close the connection, but I would imagine that this is
not possible for unknown methods.

-Jeff
Received on Friday, 22 September 1995 13:27:59 EDT

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